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Posts Tagged ‘helmet diving’

After my most recent visit to St. Thomas, my impression of the island has improved.  When I had only seen downtown Charlotte Amalie (the main city), I was pretty turned off by St. Thomas – it’s marketed as a shopper’s paradise and is loaded with international high-end jewelry shops and souvenir junk stores so the hoards of cruisers that flock its shores each week can buy crap at tax-free and duty-free prices.  Not my kind of place.  But after going on a diving tour in a different part of St. Thomas I got to see a little more of the island and found that there is more to it than just the downtown shopping hell.  There are actually gorgeous views to be had from some of the shorelines and look-out points, one of which we visited during my taxi ride to the diving site.  You can see our cruise ship in the upper right corner:

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The helmet diving was at Coral World, which is basically a small aquarium.  I got to dive for about 30 minutes and it was a lot of fun!  I used a disposable waterproof camera to take photos underwater, but as that is not yet developed here are some digital photos I took from the observation station on land:

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I then had time to walk around the rest of Coral World.  It was cute, but I had a more interesting time chatting with one of the local tour guides there.  He answered a lot of my questions about life on the island and hurricanes.  He was also much easier to understand than my Jamaican-born acquaintance from a couple weeks ago.  When I asked this local why he didn’t SOUND like he was a St. Thomas native, he said it depended who he was talking to – I guess he used his “American” accent with me as I never would have guessed he was from the island had he not told me so.

When I returned to the ship a steel-drum ensemble was playing at the terminal – how very Caribbean-esque!

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